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Watch: The eerie moment pit head wheels started turning again at an old Welsh coal mine due to Storm Franklin

20 Feb 2022 2 minute read
Penallta colliery. Picture by Chris Sampson (CC BY-SA 2.0).

This is the eerie moment that the wheels at the pit head tower at Penallta coal mine started turning again due to Storm Franklin.

The last deep mine working in the Rhymney Valley was closed in 1991 but the footage shows that it seems to have come alive again for one last shift.

First sunk in 1905 by the Powell Duffryn Steam Coal Company, it was one of the last steam-powered collieries ever built.

By the 1930s the colliery employed over 3,200 men, and in 1935 held the European record for the most coal wound in a 24-hour period.

One Twitter user responded to the footage to say “I haven’t seen a pit wheel turn since the 80’s. That’s astounding”.

“All the memories of seeing the pit wheel move as a little kid come flooding back.”

Unlike the ghostly silence here, however, the last shift at Penallta colliery was in fact led out by a brass band.

A large part of the colliery was converted into Penallta Country Park from the late 1990s onwards. There are plans for a housing estate that will incorporate the remaining Grade II listed buildings, including the pit’s headframe.

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